May 9st, 2012
Dear Parents and Guardians of Grade Ten Students:
We are honoured to be accompanying our Grade Tens from Bert Fox Community High School to a historic opportunity coming to Fort Qu’Appelle, May 14th and 15th. As many of you know, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has been touring the country, collecting stories, statements, photographs, materials, as well as songs, poetry, dance, art and other forms of communication “to share an experience or perspective about the Indian Residential Schools, their impacts, or about reconciliation.” The TRC believes that “The Truth of our common experiences will help set our spirits free and pave the way to Reconciliation.”
Those of us who do not share the common experience of residential schools can play an essential role as listeners, bearing witness to our country’s history. We can be part of the reconciliation process. Sue Bland, a community member, just returned from a TRC hearing in Onion Lake. She said the TRC organizers encourage youth to participate. Here is an opportunity for us to be part of TRC History.
Saskatchewan Education has mandated schools with bringing Treaty Teachings into our classrooms. Participating in the TRC Hearing is an opportunity for students to experience “community curriculum” and concepts basic to the treaties. It is also a phenomenal opportunity to practice real-life listening skills, so important to all ELA curriculum. Of course, we will also have preparation and follow-up utilizing reading, writing, speaking, viewing and representing within grade ten ELA themes of Identity and Equality.
We are planning for Mrs. Koops’ periods one and two classes to attend the morning sessions both days, and her period five class will attend the afternoon sessions. We will walk to the tipi with RCMP escort at 9:00 and 12:30 each day. Students will be bussed back in time for lunch and buses. Please note that Period Five students must be ready to walk at 12:30, so should either have eaten quickly or bring their lunch with them. We want to be sure we are on time for 10:00 and 1:00. Parents, family, guardians, and community members are welcome to join our walk.
Also, we would like to bring food. Please let us know if you can provide something for the nutritional breaks, including: fruits and veggies suitable for trays, cheese, low sugar muffins, fruit juice boxes, and small yogurt containers.
Sheena Koops, Grade 10 ELA Teacher Cathy Cochrane, Principal